Despite any contrary advice, turning down an offer involves more than simply telling another person “no.” There are egos and emotions involved. Social pressure makes turning down opportunities the exception rather than the rule. So what’s there to do but implement a little strategy in how you say no?
You don’t have to answer immediately. Give yourself a moment to assess your options and truly recognize what it is that you want out of a scenario. This pause will prevent you from saying yes out of knee-jerk habit. A pause can last enough time for a deep breath, or you can request some time to think about it or to check in with your schedule.
Take yourself out of the situation and think objectively for a moment. Feel pressured to make a decision? Don’t let this stress guide your answer. Take out all the emotional parts to the equation and answer as you would advise another friend to answer.
Recognize your goals
Dedication to a goal is an incredible motivator. Use your imagination and stir up all sorts of daydreams for your goal. What does it look like? What does it feel like? Imagine the details.
Proceed with your answer
The layout of your answer isn’t one size fits all. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation nor does it have to be a quick “nope.” It will depend on the person and the unique circumstances. But while the actual answer can differ from situation to situation, there’s always a reason to…
Be honest and genuine
Saying no doesn’t have to be an emotionally sterile exchange. Say no as you would want to hear it. With compassion and respect.
PS: It’s also OK to say yes sometimes!
No is a powerful tool for sticking with your financial plan but it’s also only one side of the coin. It’s also important to incorporate flexibility in order to achieve balance. That means saying yes to the occasional splurge or budgeting for goals that aren’t entirely targeted at paying off your debt. Creating a plan that you can stick with is more important than creating rigid boundaries.